Firefighters say Jaws of Life won't work on some newer cars

Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 08:11:44-04

Some new cars are so strong not even the Jaws of Life can break through. That is why the Sheboygan Fire Department is learning a new technique to save you in a crash.

For Denise Justinger and her husband, there is one priority when it comes to her car.

“Safety," said Denise. "Absolute safety especially for children."

She and her husband were babysitting their four granddaughters. They are so worried about keeping the girls safe in the car that they chose to walk instead of drive to dinner.

“We didn’t have enough car seats so we said we are going to walk,” said Denise. 

That priority on safety is why newer vehicles are being made stronger. Something so strong that even the Jaws of Life can not cut through the metal. That is why firefighters in Sheboygan now have to learn how to work with different vehicle structures.

“There is also different layers of metal in there,” said Captain Jeffrey Salzman, pointing out parts of the frame. “You can see several different layers.”

The good news, according to the fire department, is you are going to be safer in the stronger vehicles. But, the bad news is it’s going to be harder for firefighters to cut through it during a crash. That is why they are trying to practice ways to get to victims quickly.

"We have to work around different issues," said Salzman pointing out where the strongest part of the car is located.

His firefighters are learning to cut around the central pillar (B-pillar) of the vehicle when it is too strong to get through.

Since the Justingers have a newer vehicle, they are happy to hear about the extra effort from their fire crews. 

"I would feel very safe with them and my truck," said Jim Justinger.